A California resident who was a key advocate for schools reopening after many learned remotely at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, has announced a candidacy for a seat in the state assembly.
Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools, announced his candidacy for the 5th Assembly District on Friday after Rep. Kevin Kiley announced he was running for Congress.
Zachreson told Fox News Digital that he is running for the state assembly to make 2022 the “Year of the Parents,” and said there are pressing issues schools are facing that are being ignored by California lawmakers.
“They don’t address the fact that we have more than doubled the rate of chronic absenteeism due to quarantine policies. You know, we have situations where we test unnecessarily and that causes problems and it’s invasive. Schools spend a lot of money on testing and other unnecessary procedures when they could really do things to make up the difference,” Zachreson said.
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Jonathan Zachreson (Credit: Jonathan Zachreson)
Reopen California Schools, the organization Zachreson founded, is focused on getting California kids back to school five days a week.
Aside from problems with reopening and keeping schools open, Zachreson says unions in California need to be confronted. In some situations, he says, unions negotiate for school districts to pay union administrators’ salaries.
“This has to go,” Zachreson said.
He also said that since California has a Democratic supermajority, making it very difficult for Republicans to pass legislation, another focus will be raising awareness of Republican issues through ballot initiatives and social media campaigns.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference following a meeting with students at James Denman Middle School October 1, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
“My approach is going to be unconventional and how we’re tackling these issues, try to do whatever it takes to take them directly to the people through electoral initiatives, to lobby for electoral initiatives and to uncover things through social media and media that the just don’t know people,” Zachreson said.
Referring to the recent crime spate in the state’s major cities, Zachreson said criminals need to start being treated like criminals.
“You know, we have to start treating victims like victims and criminals like criminals. We can address the issues that might lead to a life of crime,” Zachreson said.
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Socially distanced kindergarten students wait for their parents to pick them up on the first day of in-person study (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)
One measure he supports is repealing Proposition 47, which was passed in 2014 and set the threshold for stealing property at $950, meaning if someone steals goods from a store, their value is below that price lies, this is charged as a misdemeanor.
Zachreson also said he was running a grassroots campaign “by parents and for parents” and didn’t want special interest money.